Officials consider plan to oversee $32M recreation center
Nov. 13, 2017
FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Officials in northern Iowa will vote on a proposal this week to create an authority to oversee a proposed $32 million cultural and recreational facility.
The center would be located in downtown Fort Dodge to replace the current recreational facility built in the 1960s, and to offer new amenities, including a black box theater and a parking garage, the Messenger reported.
"This is a quality of life feature," City Manager David Fierke said. "We're doing it because this is what the major employers say they want to see for their people."
Webster County's Board of Supervisors and the Fort Dodge City Council will vote to establish the Webster County Wellness and Cultural Authority. Construction for the proposed center would be financed by the authority, which would own the center and lease it to a nonprofit that would manage daily operations after the facility is built.
A state law allowing counties and county seat towns to enter into partnerships would permit the formation of the authority for the project.
"Public-private partnerships are really the best way to make large projects happen," said Randy Kuhlman, chairman of the board for the Fort Dodge Community Recreation Center.
The authority would be led by a three-member board, which would be able to issue revenue bonds to finance the building. However, those bonds wouldn't count against the city and county governments' debt limits, said Fierke.
The authority's board would include a member appointed by the City Council who lives within the city limits, a member appointed by the Board of Supervisors who lives outside of Fort Dodge and a member appointed by the council and the board together.
The will be considered by the Fort Dodge City Council on Monday and by the Webster County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
This story has been corrected to show local officials will vote this week on creating the authority, not on building the cultural and recreational facility.
Information from: The Messenger, http://www.messengernews.net